Missouri State University Darr College of Agriculture alumna, Tayler McLane, from Broseley, Missouri, became the first woman to receive the Precision Impact Award at the 2016 Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) meeting in Orlando, Florida, after being nominated by the Missouri home office, MFA Inc. at Columbia.
Raised on a nearly 5,000-acre row crop farm in the Missouri bootheel, McLane wasn’t sure what her agricultural path would entail, but her love for the industry led her to Missouri State and an agronomy degree. McLane credits Dr. Michael Burton, professor in agronomy and ecology at Missouri State, and Dr. Ben Fuqua, faculty emeritus in plant science, along with all of her other agriculture professors for her success and knowledge.
“I’m super happy to hear of Tayler’s success and that her efforts were rewarded. I’m not surprised by her success, though. She was always one to look for the practical application to what she was learning,” said Burton, when he heard she had received this award.
After working for a year at the Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville, Missouri, as an assistant weed scientist, McLane accepted a position as the precision agronomist for MFA agriservices in Bernie, Missouri.
As the precision agronomist, McLane takes soil samples and makes fertilizer recommendations based upon those samples. MFA agriservices in Bernie believes variable rate application (VRA) fertilization is the most efficient way to optimize farm productivity. VRA fertilization allows farmers to allocate certain amounts of fertilizer to meet the yield potential of specific areas within fields, improve low yielding zones and replenish high yielding spots.
McLane noted Bernie MFA agriservices and herself were nominated due to the number of acres she uses precision soil sampling on, and the amount of acres the company spreads fertilizer on. McLane received the Precision Impact Award after working three years with Bernie MFA agriservices. She commended her entire team and their customers for their hard work and dedication to precision agriculture.
“It takes a whole store to accomplish something like this, so when I got to thinking I thought, ‘no wonder we won,’” McLane said.
When McLane discovered she was the first woman to win this award she was honored and hopeful.
“It’s an even greater honor not only to win the award, but hopefully to start the path for other women to also win in the upcoming years,” McLane said.
According AGPRO, the Precision Impact Award is awarded annually at the ARA meeting to, “local retailer operations and local management individuals for excellence in incorporating precision ag into their retail operations and their farmer customers’ operations.” This award allows the public to see how agriculture retailers are using this technology to promote good stewardship and sustainable practices. One winner was chosen from each of the three regions; Plains-West, Northand South.